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Fire spotting technology

Fire spotting technology

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Spotting a fire early can make all the difference for firefighters when it comes to saving homes and lives and technology is making a big difference.

To see the start of a fire, you usually have to be up close or up high.

The original concept of finding a fire was &# a fire tower in the middle of the woods that would be manned with a Forest Service personnel 24/7.

"Sometimes they would actually live in the fire tower during the fire seasons," said Broadmoor Fire Rescue Chief Noel Perran.

That idea has faded away. Now, better technology is stepping in. Four modern day fire towers at the Broadmoor Hotel currently help the Broadmoor Fire Rescue spot fires.

During the Waldo Canyon and Black Forest Fires, the modern day fire towers came in handy. A video camera that's in service right now is in the new tower at the Broadmoor's West.

Soon, there will be extra eyes on the lookout, at the very top of Cheyenne Mountain.

"It'll be just like having three-four full-time people to man an old-fashioned fire tower," said Chief Perran.

Meanwhile, the Colorado Springs Fire Department relies on the community to use everyday technology to communicate if anyone sees a fire.

"So the community being vigilant, giving us a phone call early on so that we can get resources to those fires quickly," said Capt. Steven Oswald, the Colorado Springs Fire Department Public Information Officer.

Technology, no matter how great, has its limits. So part of the old fashioned way won't burn out.

"You can replace them with machines, but you still need a human brain that is an expert at weather conditions, at fire conditions and being able to locate things," said Chief Perran.

The U.S. Forest Service still has working fire towers. They say the closest tower to Colorado Springs is at Devil's Head. That's between Monument and Castle Rock. 

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